The 2017-18 season was not supposed to go down this way for the Edmonton Oilers, and we are about to say the same about the offseason. At the end of the regular calendar, it seemed clear that major moves would be made to altered the roster and that they would push the Oilers back to a contending spot.
However, nothing major has been done in Edmonton and the fan base is growing impatient. The Oilers fans had the right to expect so much in the offseason; after all, before the end of the regular calendar, Oilers team president Bob Nicholson made comments suggesting that things were about to change drastically in Edmonton.
“We have a plan and we are going to get it right. There will be some change, but we are not going to make those until the end of the year.”
“I think we want to make sure that we get the right culture in the dressing room,” had said Nicholson as per Sportsnet. “Fans will buy in if they can understand the plan once we make the changes.”
It seems now that the only thing the Oilers have facing is a major issue with one of their own free agents. It appears that the Oilers are stuck with limited cap space of $4.98 million and defenseman Darnell Nurse might be... stuck with the short end of the stick.
According to Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal, the Oilers have to look at a two-year bridge deal extension with Nurse.
“They’ve sent us a proposal and we’ll see where that goes,” said Nurse’s agent Anton Thun. “I don’t see with their cap space being what it is that they can entice us with much term.”
The Oilers have just offered third-line centre Ryan Strome a two-year deal at $3 million and $3.2 million, and Nurse was a top four defenseman this past season, averaging 22:14 a game. It’s unlikely Thun would want less than that for his client.
“At the end of the day, Peter (GM Chiarelli) and (cap specialist) Bill Scott control their cap space and their decisions,” said Thun. “They bought out Eric Gryba to add another player (50-man protected list) which cut into their cap and they signed the European goalie (Mikko Koskinen) for two-million and change, and that did the same to their cap space.”
“If they’ve got $5 million in cap space (now), it’s not going to be a long-term deal,” concluded Thun.
Matheson believes that if Nurse keeps progressing, maybe he becomes a $5- to $6-million player. However for now, it appears to be just a major issue in the Oilers' offseason plans...